Some rulers just don't have much political clout, yet still enjoy delusions of grandeur. Colonial Brits called such dangerously pathetic autocrats "tin-pot dictators," for the Victorian-era's version of the tin can. What sub-$40,000 car would a tin-pot dictator drive?

The Shah of Iran loved his Lamborghini Miura SV and Bizzarrini, Francisco Franco his Mercedes-Benz G4, Moammar Gadhafi his "rocket car."

For this exercise, imagine a tyrant who's either extremely practical, or who just can't amass a fortune enough on the backs of his people to get a proper custom-built Ferrari or Rolls-Royce station wagon or massively fortified parade car. He wants a showroom-fresh model to satisfy his lust for shiny new things. Which new offering under 40 grand will fit with his (or her, naturally) unique personality and circumstances.


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